The Doctor is back and this time, he must face off against both an old friend and something more sinister with Sam Raimi at the helm.
Doctor Stephen Strange has returned from the five-year blip, helped Spider-Man after accidentally opening a multiverse, and is happy for his ex-girlfriend Christine, who is about to be married. However, a strange creature arrived and to top things off, a young woman arrives as well. The young woman is America Chavez, a powerful teen whose ability to travel through the multiverse and needs the Doctor’s help. The Doctor may have a solution for some help, and it comes in the form of Wanda Maximoff.
Wanda is still reeling from the loss of Vision and their two children. When she learns of America’s ability to travel the multiverse, she finds it as an opportunity to reconnect with her family. Now calling herself Scarlet Witch, Wanda becomes hellbent and as a result, Stephen and America head to other dimensions in an attempt to thwart Wanda from her plan. Things soon may not go as plan and it is up to the Doc to unleash his powers and stop his one-time ally, and it may come as a price.
The original Doctor Strange was amazing upon its release in 2016 and Marvel had heard the fans with Benedict Cumberbatch taking the role of the Sorcerer Supreme. With Scott Derrickson at the helm, the original took us on a visual trip at reminiscent of a 60’s psychedelic trip. With the sequel finally here, it has been dubbed as “the first MCU horror film” with legendary genre director Sam Raimi at the helm, and while there are shades of horror, it’s not exactly a full-blown horror hybrid.
While Cumberbatch returns to the fray, this time, he has Elizabeth Olsen to contend with as she takes on her new persona of The Scarlet Witch. Olsen is amazing to watch as we see two sides of her, going from loving mom from Wandavision to the Scarlet Witch, the main antagonist. Another Benedict, Benedict Wong also returns in some capacity as Wong while Xochitl Gomez is the breakout star as the new MCU hero America Chavez. Chavez is of importance as she can traverse the various multiverses as she is introduced with a version of Strange that looks like a tougher version of the character.
A pivotal scene in the film involves Doctor Strange and America going to an alternate universe where they are confronted by a group called the Illuminati. This includes the return of Chiwetel Ejiofor as Baron Mordo and Patrick Stewart as Professor Charles Xavier, a role he took last in 2017’s Logan. Those who saw the series What If? will get to see some surprise casting, including one who could end up leading a certain upcoming MCU film. This is an insane scene that is set to give one goosebumps and knowing this is a Sam Raimi film, look out for a certain Mr. Campbell and a very shocking mid-credit scene that is set to introduce another new character in the MCU.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is not as good as the original film, but it has some surprising moments but it kind of feels like a Spider-Man 3 as well…a tad bit overload. Nevertheless, a good entry…not great, but good enough to satisfy the MCU fans.
WFG RATING: B
A Marvel Studios production. Director: Sam Raimi. Producer: Kevin Feige. Writer: Michael Waldron; based on the characters created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Cinematography: John Mathieson. Editing: Bob Murawski and Tia Nolan.
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gomez, Rachel McAdams, Jett Klyne, Julian Hilliard, Michael Sthulbarg, Hayley Atwell, Anson Mount, Lashana Lynch, John Krasinski, Patrick Stewart.